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10 Ways to Upcycle Today

I love upcycling!  In fact I have an entire board on my personal pinterest dedicated to upcycling.  It's something I try to do regularly and incorporate into my every day life and my crafting.  So how do you get started with upcycling?  Craig Scott, editor and writer from answers in this guest post.

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Upcycled Unpaper Towels

You know what?  I love to recycle.  I love finding new uses for old things and making use of something that otherwise would have ended up in the garbage.  I have made unpaper towels before.  You've probably heard of them.  You basically sew up a bunch of towels made from terry cloth and some kind of pretty (usually cotton) backing.  You can add snaps to make them attach to each other and actually roll them up and put them on a roll in your kitchen.  

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DIY Manly Windchime

This post contains affiliate links.  We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Guys are hard to buy for and I think they're even harder to craft for.  For the most part I don't even try anymore I just ask Joshfor exactly what he wants.  But once in awhile inspiration hits me and I come up with a crafty idea that makes my husband smile and let me tell you it's quite a smile! 

I've been collecting beer caps for awhile now and trying to think of something spectacular to do with them that my husband would be excited about.  I have a few projects up my sleeve but the one I'm sharing with you today is a windchime.  Now that might not sound super manly but I mean come on it's made from lids, fishing line and beer caps.

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Kid Art Cloth Napkins

A Guest Post by June Rostad

I love hosting dinner parties, especially during spring time because I can whip out my indoor tabletop grill.  If you haven't had Korean BBQ from a Korean mama before ... it's so delicious.  Anyways, six of my closest friends are coming over.  I wanted to spruce up the dinner table some, and thought making these Sharpie marker spray kid-art cloth napkins would be super cool.  The best part is having the kiddos unleash their creativity.  I loved what they drew.



Salvation Army's half-price day is awesome.  A king-sized sheet and two pillowcases.  That's a $1.50, baby.  For this project, I mainly used the pillow cases because they were easier to handle.  I was able to get 8 cloth napkins out of a king-sized pillow case, so you could really make an entire set for like 50 cents.



This pillowcase has a decorative trim, so I folded the pillowcase in half, excluding the trim.  I then rotary cut the left and the right sides off.



I save the trim to use for another project.



Cut the pillow case up into equally sized-rectangles.  You will divide them in half to make the cloth napkins, so the rectangles should be about half the size of the napkin that you want.



Rotary cut each rectangle to make it nice and even.  This step isn't totally necessary if you are going for the kitschy look.



Here's my rectangle, all cut nicely.



Cut in half.



You need an empty spray bottle, Sharpie markers, and bottle of rubbing alcohol.



Let the kiddos go to town!  It's important here to keep the two halves together, just in case the sizes are different.



Put the rubbing alcohol into the spray bottle, and blast the new kid-art with a few squirts!  Make sure you have some newspaper, although rubbing alcohol is rather harmless (unless you're a Sharpie marker).  You should see some blurring together.  Letting the design sit in alcohol will make it a little runnier, but not much, so spray to your liking.



Sew the sides together, inside out.  I used 3/4" seam allowance.  Make sure you leave a small hole somewhere, e.g. don't sew the napkin all the way shut.



Can you see the hole that I left?



Cut off the corners.


And turn inside out.  I used a chopstick to poke the cloth into the corners.



Sew the napkin all the way around using a smaller seam allowance (mine is about 1/2") than when the napkin was inside-out.  This will sew that hole shut without having to do any pesky hand-sewing.

Here are two other napkins. :)  I love the clouds and sun scene!  Looks very impressionistic!


The Finals.


This project was a really fun way to spend an afternoon with my kids.  Even teenagers love seeing their own art-work.  Reminds me of sticking up an art project on the refrigerator.  My girls did their own sewing, but you might have to help younger children.  Don't worry too much about making your sewing "perfect" -- not only is this a great kid-project, but it's also a great beginning sewing project.  Most sheets are cotton, so they make for great fabric. I let my daughter draw on the other pillowcase, and then made her a shirt.  And I drew on the bed sheet and made a bunch of sofa pillows for the spring.

June Rostad

Let Go of Being Perfect

 June Rostad loves to refashion clothes that she finds at thrift stores.  She also takes so many photos, her Nikon dSLR can't keep up.  She blogs about her sewing and photography adventures.

You can find June on:


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DIY Upcycled Throw Pillows

 I'm in the midst of redecorating my adjoined living room, dining room and kitchen.  I'm adding some blues into my red and goldenrod yellow pallet.  When it warms up I intend to paint my red wall a calming blue.  My decor style is somewhat busy.  Blame it on my busy mind.  I love color.  I love patterns.  I love themes.  I also love cheap!  Let's talk about an easy way to bring some pops of color into my home.  Throw pillows!  But have you priced those lately?  They are not cheap.  I looked at some of those bad boys the other day.  They are expensive.  Like $20 a piece!  What?!  Well this tutorial combines some of my favorites. Cheap, easy, colorful and patterns. I pulled out my gifted bag of old clothes from one of my favorite friends and searched for colors I wanted to bring to the living room.  I found some blues and a pattern of course.  I also decided to cover an old plain black throw pillow with some fun fur fabric I found at my Gran's house.  So with my old t-shirt, old skirt and Gran's gifted fabric the only thing that cost me anything was the polyfil (which I already had on hand.) So let's get started and turn out some pillows.  I made all three of these pillows in about an hour. 



The first pillow I made was out of an old t-shirt.  I like to keep as many seams as I can so I made a rectangular pillow using the side seams of the shirt and cutting it right under the armpits and cutting off the bottom seam. 



Turn your pillow inside out and bring it to the sewing machine.  If your shirt has any stretch like mine does you need to use a zigzag stitch. 


 Make sure to leave a gap for stuffing on one side and backstitch at the opening. Stitch up the other side of the pillow completely.  Turn your pillow right side out and stuff it very full. Break up any lumps 


 Whip stitch the hole closed.  Tada t-shirt pillow. 


 Next I cut up this pretty little skirt. 

 I folded it in half so I would have one less seam to make. 


 A straight stitch works fine for cotton fabric.  Be sure to leave a gap for stuffing (preferably at the bottom of your pillow)  Turn your pillow right side out stuff and whipstitch it up. Last but not least I covered my black pillow.  I used my pillow as a template of how big the pillow was and cut out the fabric just slightly bigger. You know cuz you have to shove your pillow inside of it :) 


 Put right sides of your fabric together.  Sew it up leaving a gap big enough to shove your pillow through.  But since you will have corners with extra fabric make sure you clip the edges off up to the stitches. 



By trimming the corners your corners once turned will be sharp.  Turn your pillow right side out and you guessed it, shove your pillow in there.  Whip stitch your hole closed.   That's it you've made three brand spanking new pillows for basically free in an hour or so.  You would've spent that long going to the store to look at pillows and discover how outrageous they are! Well here's the finished product along with a thrifted pillow that I love. 

 What do you think of my upcycled pillows?  Are you going to make some for yourself?  Have you ever done a project like this?  Do you have more ideas for upcycling old clothing?  Share with me.  I love to hear from you!  And I love to see your projects.  See you soon and as always Stay Crafty!   

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Upcycled: DIY Peter Pan Collar

 I don't know about you but I have a lot of clothes in my closet that I don't love anymore.  I never wear them and they just sit around or eventually I pass them on or donate them.  I always think to myself 'what a waste."  Recently a friend of mine passed on some of her unwanteds to me and said 'I thought you could craft with whatever doesn't work for you."  (Sara is a genius!)  So expect to see a lot of upcycled clothing ideas coming out of here.  In the past I have upcycled clothes but I guess I just kind of forgot how easy it really is.   This tutorial took about 10 minutes and was seriously so easy.  I love peter pan collars.  They can dress up a plain jane outfit in 2 seconds flat.  And my style is pretty plain jane with fun accessories so this was right up my alley.  As you know, I also enjoy anything that doesn't take a tremendous amount of time and effort.  Even better if it's super cute/trendy when I'm done.  Also saving money is my fave.  Spending zero dollars to get a new accesory feels the best ever. Also have you priced fabric lately? I mean what happened to saving money by sewing for yourself?  It can be done with sales and thrifty shopping but not conventionally.  So you can now consider those unwanted clothes sitting around in a new light.  Free fabric and potential accessories!  Well in the time it took you to read that we will create a new necklace. Ready? Set. Go!




1. So I started with a sweater with a cute collar. Next, I plain and simple cut the collar off.  


2. Next I pinned down the top edges with space for a ribbon to pass through after sewn. Sew it! (repeat on both sides) 




 3. Yah this old trick!  Put a saftey pin on the end of the ribbon you want to use and pull it through the top of your collar. 

 4. Tie a knot in your ribbon around the end and tuck your knot end inside the hole so you don't see it. 


 5.Repeat on both sides and decide how long you want your ribbon to be.


 Wear it with everything! 

Well, what do you think?  Would you wear a peter pan collar?  I know I would!  It dresses up anything you wear it with.  Do you have an upcycled clothing idea?  What things have you upcycled?  Share your projects with me.  Do you want to win this Peter Pan Collar?  Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with subject line Peter Pan Collar and tell me what you'd wear it with.  One person will win the above pictured collar. Contest ends March 1,2017 Stay Crafty!

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3268 Hits

Upcycled Decorative Bowl


This tutorial is a result partly of laziness partly of guilt.  So, I'm preparing a gift and we'll talk more about that later.  I don't have a single gift bag, box or basket in the entire house.  Well, me being me, I thought "I got this."  Sunday I had bought a newspaper for the coupons and I was feeling a little pained about all those pages of tree sitting on the table.  So to youtube I wandered.  I learned the basics and moved on.

This is the tutorial I used to learn the basics : 

Basically I learned how to make the tubes that become a bowl.  I closed my browser and again thought, "I got this."  

First of all, the idea that making this would be easier than driving to the dollar store is laughable.  If this project is one is. time. consuming.  BUT after finishing it I really feel like I'll do it again and make something for myself.  So let's get started!


A Fat newspaper (think the Sunday edition)

Modge Podge

Skewer or Pencil


Paint Brush


Acrylic Paint (optional)

1. First we cut our newspaper apart so it is all one page pieces.  

2. Take your skewer and roll diagonally up the paper page to make a long tube.

(note: i like to move my skewer outward as I go so it is easy to remove)


3. Glue edge down and remove skewer.



4. Do it again until you have a big pile of tubes. If your baby objects let her play fruit ninja.


5.For the bottom of my bowl I started by applying modge podge down the length of the tube then rolling it up.



6. At the end of the tube connect another tube with modge podge and continue the modge podge rolling until your base is as big as you want it.  Leave your last tube unconnected and add more as needed.



7. When you are pretty satisfied with the size of the base you can start making circles. Its pretty much the same as before but you'll want a hole in the middle to connect it to the base. I accomplished this by putting modge podge down the length of a tube and wrapping it around a glue stick (On some of mine I used three tubes and on some two on the first level alternating sizes).  Then pulling the whole thing down once secured.


8.In order to secure the circle to the base I used strips of newspaper folded 4 times and pulled through the middle and part of the base.  It would be prettier without it but I'm just not sure how to get it to stay.


9. The next circle is the same except I used strips through the bottom and the previous circle.  Continue this all the way around.

10.  On layer two I decided to switch it up.  I did a combination of big empty circles and small coils. To make the small coils I just rolled up one tube.  The big empty ones are half of a newspaper page wrapped around a little aerosol can.

The only hard part on the second layer was keeping the small coils in place long enough to stick.  Once a big coil was on either side it seemed to stay relatively easily.

11. Modge Podge the whole she-bang.  Then let it dry. You are done unless like me you decide to paint it because your sister tells you it's ugly. ;)  



12.  If you paint it I suggest Acrylic paint and then another layer of modge podge.  I think gold or silver paint would look awesome on this project.  

 Well, did you tough it out and put in the work?  I did and I think this beats any gift bag from the dollar store.  Tune in Monday to see my homemade gift that is going to fill up my paper bowl.As a side note, put down some kind of protective layer when using modge podge it is a pain to clean up.  Also don't be like me and ruin your favorite leggings. Wear your craft clothes or don't be messy.  Stay Crafty!

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3627 Hits

2 Minute Doll Clothes


My "Barbara" Dolls were my constant companions growing up.  They went wherever I went, but they were rockstars and astronauts.  They were veterinarians and models.  And they did whatever they wanted.  They took NO naps and stood on all the furniture they wanted.  They changed outfits whenever they felt like it and some of their favorites were the homemade clothes my Gran and I made.  The best part about this project is that it takes about 2 minutes.  No really!  And once your kid masters the art of scissors they can do this confidently on their own.  


Kid sock (a long one not a no show)



Imagination (not pictured)

My favorite look was the Off the Shoulder dress.

1. The opening of the sock is the skirt of the dress.


2. Cut off the foot part of the sock

3. Cut two arm holes.

4. Dress your doll.


You can also make a one shoulder dress by cutting diagonally across and cutting only one arm hole.


Or very simply you can make a tube top shirt or dress or a skirt by simply cutting the sock to the appropriate length. ( Those lace top socks make cute clothes)


You can make Barbara a belt or a top knot.


 Oh socks!  My childhood Barbara clothing store.  What do you think of this fun little craft? Do you do a craft with socks?  Tell me all about it.  Share your Barbara sock clothes with me by tagging me Instagram or Facebook.  Using hashtag #aprildoesthat or shoot me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and most of all Stay Crafty!

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Recent Comments
Cherrelle Hitchcock
I have so many fun memories from making Barbie clothes this way as a child. My favorite was a fire engine red nylon which I fashio... Read More
Monday, 09 January 2017 08:48
Guest — April Huggins
That sounds so cute! My favorite was the off the shoulder when I was little (blame the 80's) but I agree with you I love the one ... Read More
Monday, 09 January 2017 14:41
April Huggins
I bet that was pretty! When I was little I loved that off the shoulder look. (blame the 80's) But now I agree with you, I like tha... Read More
Friday, 13 January 2017 11:13
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Tiny Wreath

Today's inspiration came in the form of a piece of trash.  Yay for upcycling, right?!  My little sister got her first apartment and along with the essentials I picked up a $1 "B" on a piece of twine in the gift wrap section at Target. (like the first letter of her last name)  I thought it'd be adorable hanging on her apartment's front door.  Fast forward and I'm examining a coffee pot I collected for her.  (Can't get much more essential than coffee, guys!)  Well this little cardboard circle popped out and immediately I thought wreath!  But it is TINY..okay well so what??? TINY WREATH!!  Maybe it's just me but small versions of big things scream adorable to me.  You know, like babies and baby animals and mini cupcakes and well you get the picture.  So tiny wreath was born.  And it. is. adorable.  I can't wait to hang it on her door. ( if she'll let me )  So check it out, try it out or enter to win one in your favorite letter and color by emailing me with your letter and color of choice at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  One winner be chosen on March 1, 2017.






Yarn (approximately 8 1/2 yards) 


Yarn Needle

Coffee optional

Step 1: Draw a big circle with a smller circle inside of it.  Whatever size you like. (a compass might come in handy)  My outer wreath circle is 6 inches and my inner circle is 4 1/2 inches.  Okay, cut that bad boy out and lets get started!

Step 2: You're going to want to make sure your yarn is in a ball or wrapping the wreath is a pain.  Isn't my tiny yarn ball adorable?

Step 3: Cut the knot off of your hanging letter...or untie it.


Step 4: Wrap your yarn around your cut out circle and tie a knot.

Step 5: Get to wrapping that wreath.  Make sure your yarn stays close together by pushing it with your fingertip after each wrap.


Step 6: Once you have wrapped your whole wreath tie your first knot end and your loose (yarn ball end) into a knot.

Step 7: Wrao a little farther until your first knot end is secure.  Trim excess.

Step 8: Cut your yarn leaving approximatley a 4 inch tail.  Thread into a yarn needle and thread the yarn under your previous wrapping.  Trim any excess.

Step 9: Tie your letter around your wreath.  Tie a knot in the twine.  Tada! Tiny Wreath!



Options:  Seriously, this project could have so many variations. You could use two different colors (or many).  You could use a glue gun to attach different decorations.  You could, GASP, make a full size wreath!  Go Crazy!  And remember to share your creations with me.  Use hashtag #aprildoesthat, tag me on Instagram or Facebook or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What projects have you done with "trash"?

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Lynnelle Stueve
Great post April! Well done! I like your writing style, keep going girl! ! !
Monday, 09 January 2017 00:04
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